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Japan Honors Autonomous Ship Initiative at Innovation Awards

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 16, 2023



An autonomous ship initiative by a group of companies in Japan was recognized by Japan’s Cabinet Office at Fifth Japan Open Innovation Prize Ceremony on Wednesday.

The companies receiving recognition are NYK and NYK Group companies Japan Marine Science Inc., MTI Co. Ltd., and Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Ltd.

The received Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Award at a ceremony hosted by Japan’s Cabinet Office. 

The four NYK Group companies are participating in the Joint Technological Development Program for the Demonstration of Fully Autonomous Ships under the MEGURI 2040 fully autonomous ship project administrated by the Nippon Foundation.

The MEGURI project is part of the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ships (DFFAS) Consortium, which comprises 30 companies in Japan. 

As members of the consortium, the four companies provided technology and experience so far cultivated in the technological development of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS). ©NYK

Last year, the consortium successfully conducted a trial simulating the actual operation of a fully autonomous ship between Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay.

In addition to the four NYK Group companies, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. was also recognized with the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award on February 15 on behalf of the consortium.

"Automated and unmanned ship technologies can help to solve various social issues, such as resolving labor shortages and reducing the labor burden in the shipping industry, preventing maritime accidents, and maintaining remote island shipping routes. The four NYK Group companies will continue to collaborate with relevant parties and work toward the social implementation of this technology," NYK said.